HC Deb 01 May 1940 vol 360 cc698-9
30. Mr. Paling

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the question of the expulsion of African children from elementary schools in Kenya owing to the inability of their parents to pay fees, and the question of the advisability of fee paying generally, has now been fully considered by the legislature; and, if so, with what result?

Mr. M. MacDonald

This question has been the subject of recent investigations by the District Education Boards. It appears that inability to pay fees has not prevented any large number of Africans from obtaining elementary education. The missions are responsible for the great majority of the elementary schools for Africans, and in many of them arrangements already exist for dealing with applications for the remission of fees in necessitous cases. All missions have recently been urged to complete such arrangements and have been asked to report to the education authorities any cases of hardship which may occur. In those Government schools where fees are charged to Africans, the headmaster is empowered to remit them after consultation with the District Commissioner and native headmen.

Mr. Paling

If the education of these children is to make headway, as the right hon. Gentleman wants, is it possible for it to be made while these people have to pay fees, particularly in view of the appallingly low wages they receive and their inability to pay any fees whatever?

Mr. MacDonald

I think that under the extended arrangements which are now contemplated there will not be, or ought not to be, any cases where fees are not remitted in necessitous cases.